BEIJING - The US diving team will go home empty-handed for the second consecutive Olympics and the two men who competed in the final event, the 10m platform, were disappointed but not despondent.
Thomas Finchum said after watching Australia's Matthew Mitcham prevent a Chinese sweep of all eight gold medals in Beijing: "I went out there had the potential to win a medal, but I'm not going to beat myself up [with a 12th place finish]."
Finchum had a rough start, botching the entry on his opening dive, an inward 3 ½ somersault tuck (with a 3.2 degree of difficulty). "Normally, it's one of my best dives and it's been consistent throughout the year," he said with a shrug, his face still flushed from the hot shower.
"If I'm lucky enough to make another Olympics, I'll be back. At least I've enjoyed the experience."
Finchum's mother, father, brother, sister and best friend were all in the stands to cheer on the 18-year-old's Olympic debut. Finchum plans to start his freshman year at Indiana University Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI) later this year.
David Boudia, Finchum's 19-year-old synchro partner, placed 10th in the final, after hovering in fifth, sixth, and seventh place all night until he uncorked his last and most difficult dive (a back 2 ½ somersault with 2 ½ twists, with a 3.8 degree of difficulty) and a flawed entry knocked him into the bottom three.
"I definitely fell short," Boudia said of his Saturday night performance at the Water Cube. "It was disappointing. I didn't do as well as I could have. My two best dives (the last two) were my worst ones. Technically, on the second-to-last dive, I wasn't tight on it. My last dive, I don't know. It was weird. I never [blow] that.
Boudia had the hardest compilation of dives among the finalists. Asked whether he might alter his strategy and go for easier dives that might be easier to perform consistently, he said no.
"My two best dives are my hardest. All those dives [on my list], I know I can do for 10s. I've come such a long way since three years ago."
Overall, Boudia wasn't surprised that China was not only beaten on Saturday, but that Russia's Gleb Galperin edged in for the bronze, thus relegating Zhou Luxin and Huo Liang to 2nd and 4th place, respectively.
"I've said many times: anything can happen in diving and it did."